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Raonic Wins Marathon Battle For Title

Chennai, India

Raonic© AFP/Getty ImagesMilos Raonic celebrates winning his second ATP World Tour title.

Fourth seed Milos Raonic picked up his second ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Aircel Chennai Open with a hard-fought 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4) victory over top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

Raonic earned $71,900 in prize money and 250 South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking points with victory in three hours and 14 minutes, while Tipsarevic picked up $37,860 and 150 points.

Discuss On Facebook: Can Raonic Break The Top 10 In 2012?

"It is only my second title," said Raonic. "It is an awesome feeling. I created a lot of opportunities... one in each set. Tipsarevic took it away in the first set. But I took my opportunities in the second and third. My serve is a big factor in my game... in 99 per cent of my matches. My job is to take care of my serve."

Tipsarevic came under pressure at 1-2, when he saved four break points, but didn't suffer any problems thereafter. Raonic dropped just three points on serve and hit 10 aces in his first six service games en route to the tie-break. Tipsarevic took a 5-3 lead in the tie-break, which proved decisive to clinch the 61-minute set. Raonic had dropped four points on serve overall.

In the second set, Tipsarevic got himself out of trouble on three occasions. From 15/40 in the first game and by winning four straight points from 0/30 at 2-2 and 15/40 at 3-3. Raonic almost fell to 3-5, but saved two break points with big winners to keep the set on serve.

Once again, a tie-break was needed. After the first couple of points were exchanged, Raonic took control by opening up a 4-1 lead. He levelled the score on his second set point opportunity, having his 13 aces and won 30 of 42 service points in 69 minutes of high-quality action.

In a close decider, Raonic saved two break points in the first game. Tipsarevic saved one at 3-4, 30/40. In the third tie-break of the final, Raonic's greater service potency reaped dividends. He gained a 5-0 lead and soon tasted silverware for the second time (2-1 overall).

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Raonic hit 35 aces and 76 overall at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament. The 21-year-old Canadian won all 48 of his service games in four matches and also saved all 14 break points he faced during the week.

He is the first player to win an ATP World Tour title without dropping serve since Roger Federer at the 2008 Gerry Weber Open in Halle (49 games). Raonic is now 5-8 lifetime against Top 10 opponents.

"Guys like Milos are special players," said Tipsarevic. "It was a great game of tennis. Nobody knew till the end who would win. Unluckily for me it was I who lost. It was just a matter of a few points here and there. Hopefully next time I will get the better of him."

Tipsarevic drops to a 2-6 record in singles finals. Later in the day, he teamed up with Leander Paes to win his first ATP World Tour doubles title. Read Report

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©Keegan Bursaw / Embassy of Canada

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